A friend of mine is having her first little baby boy in January. I’m so excited! I was bored of buying shower gifts off registries though (thanks to 12 weddings attended this year) so I put it in my mind to make something. I’ve been wanting to make a rag quilt since I hung out at my friend Erin’s house, and she showed me the HUGE rag quilt she made, which she proclaimed to be super duper easy. I thought this was the perfect occasion. Baby size things are a little more doable for your first go of things, in my humble opinion. My friends are doing baby stuff in jungle theme, so I hopped online to Joann’s during their 50% fleece sale and found some cute prints.
On Tuesday I sat in front of the TV to get my Glee fix while I cut the squares. For a 40″x40″ quilt, I got 2 yards of fabric total–one yard of each print I wanted to use. I cut the squares 8″x8″.
On Sunday I had a whole day at home and decided to knock the rest of the quilt out. So here’s what I did:
First, I laid out all the squares in the order I wanted them. This was to make sure I had enough of each kind of fabric, and to ensure that my cutting job wasn’t off. I did two layers of fabric, so I have two squares of fleece stacked. I used the same patterned squares together.
On each square, I sewed two diagonal lines from one corner to the other corner. This is to make sure the pieces stay together well enough and line up evenly when put together in the whole quilt. I left about a 1/2″ of space at the end of each corner to make it easier to sew all the squares together later. If you want to put batting inside, cut a 7″x7″ square of fleece and put it between the two pieces of fabric before sewing these X’s. I thought the fleece was thick enough without the batting. If you use flannel instead of fleece, you might want to line it with the batting.
The next step was to sew rows of squares together. I essentially stacked two Xed squares and sewed a straight 1/2″ seam along one edge. Continue to do this with the whole row of 5 squares.
After sewing this seam, when you unlayer the two squares, you should have one side with a 1/2″ of fabric sticking out and when it’s flipped over, you don’t have any fabric sticking out.
Once you have done this with all the rows, it’s time to sew the rows together. I was a little nervous about how well this part was going to work. I took a break so I could take a nap, and fell asleep trying to think through the steps I needed to take to make this work. I’m surprised I didn’t dream about sewing! An hour later, I made the attempt. It actually worked well, without much difficulty. You do the same stacking and sewing a 1/2″ seam, you just do it with a whole row. The only thing you need to watch for is the sticking out fabric on each of the sewn together squares. Make sure that two pieces or sticking out fabric are lying flat both on the top and the bottom so it will go through the machine easily.
Continue until all rows are sewn together.
Then sew a 1/2″ seam around the perimeter of the quilt. No folding or stacking needed for this!
Be warned, the final step has the potential to cramp your fingers the most. Make small cuts in the sticking out fabric up to the seam line. Cutting through all four pieces of fabric didn’t work very well for me, so I cut two at a time.
Don’t forget to cut strips around the perimeter of the quilt as well!
Once that’s done, you’ve completed your sewing project!
The last thing you should do is throw the quilt in the washer/dryer to mat the cut edges. I’m not sure how much the fleece fabric will do this because it’s so thick, but it doesn’t hurt to wash it anyway. 🙂